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-   -   Toshiba said to be losing $200 on each HD-DVD player sold (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/digital-video-industry-news/70090-toshiba-said-losing-200-each-hd-dvd-player-sold.html)

Boyd Ostroff June 23rd, 2006 09:08 AM

Toshiba said to be losing $200 on each HD-DVD player sold
 
http://yahoo.businessweek.com/techno...622_113255.htm

Quote:

That's the verdict of market research firm iSuppli, which carried out a so-called teardown of the machine, picking it apart to determine what's inside and how much it cost to build. iSuppli analyst Chris Crotty reckons the internal electronics cost about $674, bringing the total to more than $700 when components such as packaging and manufacturing are included. The players sell through retailers like Best Buy and Target for $499, leaving Toshiba with a per-unit loss of $200 or more.

Emre Safak June 23rd, 2006 09:22 AM

ah...that's so nice of Toshiba. Forfeiting profit for the public good.

Mack Fisher June 23rd, 2006 09:50 AM

I think they are trying to go cheap so no one buys blu-ray, if they become the dominant format they will make their money back in a heartbeat.

Kevin Shaw June 23rd, 2006 10:58 AM

I'd question the cost estimate given that Toshiba HD-DVD players are just stripped down computers with a few extra output jacks, and basic computers hardly cost anything these days. But hey, if Toshiba wants to give 'em away that's okay by me. As the saying goes, "they'll make it up on volume."

Gene Brockhoff June 23rd, 2006 11:00 AM

I bought one. It's quite spectacular. The HD-DVD's look great, but the big surprise is how good my "old" SD dvd's look, stunning! Thanks Toshi, for the $200 break. Lord knows I deserve it after paying $3800 for the first wave of 16x9 projection big screens.

Harrison Murchison June 23rd, 2006 11:05 AM

Makes sense.

Sony's going to do the same thing with the Playstation 3.
Toshiba may as well get their product out at cost and get some movies sold.

I have my doubts that iSuppli is right because you never really know what deal is really being cut for components but clearly the Toshiba player is more expensive than what they are charging.

2nd generation units should have more consolidation of parts to reduce the cost and I expect more vendor will jump in at this time.

Heath McKnight June 25th, 2006 02:09 PM

HD DVDs selling at a loss
 
Saw this at imdb.com:

"Toshiba Selling HD-DVD Players at a Loss

Hoping to deal Sony's Blu-ray high-definition DVD player a knock-out blow before it even enters the ring, Toshiba has begun selling its own HD DVD player at a loss, the online edition of Business Week reported today (Friday), citing a study by market research firm iSuppli. According to the firm, it costs Toshiba more than $700 to produce each HD DVD player, which it plans to sell at U.S. retailers for $499. Sony's Blu-ray players, by contrast, are expected to display a price of around $999. In its report, iSuppli analyst Chris Crotty commented, "Toshiba wants to get a head start and build an early lead."'

Almost like the current Xbox 360s; they're being sold at a loss of around $100 or so, I believe.

heath

Jason Varner June 30th, 2006 09:18 PM

I don't buy it. Consoles have always sold hardware at a loss because they make money on the license from game developers, which is why microsoft gets so butt-hurt when when a bunch of hackers turn an xbox into a PC. If Toshiba owned the HD-DVD codec, mp4v10/h.264.....they don't, then they might adopt such a strategy. Toshiba has no\little vested interest in the format other than what they believe is the future of HD. Try building a car from the parts counter of a dealership and see what it costs you, iSuppli I say thee nay.

Jon Fairhurst June 30th, 2006 11:25 PM

I believe that Toshiba owns a number of patents related to HD DVD. If they've done their homework, they make money from the players sold by other manufacturers, they make money from the duplicate houses and from raw media manufacturers. Same deal for Sony et al on the Blu-ray side.

Regarding the codec, both players adopted MPEG2, H.264 and VC1. There are certainly some players who make money no matter how this ends up.

Tomas Chinchilla July 2nd, 2006 09:58 AM

Me personaly, I bought the HDDVD player the day it was available at BB, no regrets now and I don't think I'll ever will.

This thing it's amazin, and even my SD DVD's look amazing. for $599 can't beat it.

John Kang July 3rd, 2006 08:09 AM

Samsung has just launched its bluray player this week and Sony has released it's first Bluray burner as well. Check out my post on the DVD section regarding the burner.

Link to cost of HD-DVD and Samsung release at: http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/busine...bu033000c.html

Now, if someone with an older Ulead Movie studio will try burning some Bluray formated discs on DVD-r or DVD+r and try it on a bluray player... Be interesting to see if contents for Bluray can be burned on a standard DVD like the HD-DVD format allows.

Heath McKnight July 3rd, 2006 08:48 AM

Has anyone burned a high def DVD via Apple (on DVD-r) and tried playing it in an HD DVD player?

heath

Tomas Chinchilla July 3rd, 2006 08:52 AM

YES!

It plays beautifully, only one issue and that is the Menu layers not working. But if you set the movie to first play it's all good, or you can always choose the chapter on the remote.

Heath McKnight July 3rd, 2006 09:02 AM

So make no menu, just first play. What about 1080i vs. 720p?

heath

Tomas Chinchilla July 3rd, 2006 09:06 AM

Tried them both with no issues.

Obviously 1080i native looked amazing, 720p looked great too but compared to 1080i it got 2nd plce for me.

Of course I am not too sure that was a valid test since I took my 1080i material shot with an FX1 and deinterlaced it. The other test was with DV Film Maker and a 24p Conversion........Still looked good.

At the end 1080i wins.

Heath McKnight July 3rd, 2006 09:20 AM

Great report, thanks!

heath

Steven Davis July 3rd, 2006 10:43 AM

Maybe they'll make it up by selling a 400.00 extended warranty

Heath McKnight July 3rd, 2006 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Maybe they'll make it up by selling a 400.00 extended warranty

That cracked me up.

heath

Joe Carney July 10th, 2006 01:22 PM

Since I don't want to be responsible or putting Toshiba out of business, I won't buy one at all. I just don't want the guilt.:)

Heath McKnight July 10th, 2006 02:48 PM

Ha ha ha ha!

hwm

Daniel Hollister July 10th, 2006 02:49 PM

This format war is going to be very interesting to watch. Unlike VHS vs. Beta, this time around the studios have taken sides. With the first war, the studios released films on both formats. People just ended up getting screwed if they owned the wrong one in the end. Whereas now, the studios are taking sides. Does that mean you won't see Disney movies unlesss you own the right player or Universal films if you don't own the one they support? Are we going to see Sony Pictures release films on HD-DVD or only Blu-Ray?

Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)

This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...

Steven Davis July 10th, 2006 03:04 PM

Daniel,

I imagine the one equalizer in this whole showdown will be the internet, i.e. Itunes and the like where you can already purchase movies online. I do imagine that most likely we will all watch things more and more from a none harddisk format. That's my two cents. Ofcourse, I'm not Bill Gates or Steven Speilburg.

John Kang July 10th, 2006 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)

This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...

I don't think's that's true as Samsung and I think Pioneer is releasing a dual player capable of playing both formats. Last I heard...

Heath McKnight July 10th, 2006 06:12 PM

Someone is, I don't know if it's Sanyo or LG (is that the right name?) or whom...

heath

Jeff Kilgroe July 10th, 2006 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
This format war is going to be very interesting to watch. Unlike VHS vs. Beta, this time around the studios have taken sides. With the first war, the studios released films on both formats. People just ended up getting screwed if they owned the wrong one in the end. Whereas now, the studios are taking sides. Does that mean you won't see Disney movies unlesss you own the right player or Universal films if you don't own the one they support? Are we going to see Sony Pictures release films on HD-DVD or only Blu-Ray?

Actually, many studios are now starting to show support for both formats. The supported codecs and data rates are essentially identical between the two formats, with BluRay only having an edge in capacity and potentially for future longevity due to more layers on a disc. But the primary concern of the studios is to sell their product and make money. As many of them are politically aligned to one side of the format war on some level, the business of making money still comes first and they'll release on multiple formats to get their HD content out there and into the hands of consumers in exchange for their cash. If the "war" drags on for too long, we'll see studios supporting both formats with the only real hold-out being Sony's own studios releasing on only BluRay. And there's a pretty good bet we'll see universal players that will play both disc formats within a year anyway.

Quote:

Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)
Actually, Sony has removed the restriction for support of HD-DVD and DVD-Audio formats on BluRay licensed devices. This was mostly due to several hardware manufacturers such as Marantz, Denon, LG, Pioneer, etc.. threatening legal action as Sony didn't implement that license restriction until Marantz and LG announced dual format players. Not to mention it violates antitrust laws in the USA and most of Europe. The only thing that Sony can enforce is that their proprietary BluRay mechanism with its blue laser implementation can only be used for formats that Sony licenses. So Currently any dual format players will have to use two separate laser mechanisms. Not a big deal for a true universal player. The blue laser implementation for BluRay actually has a shortcoming in that it is actually incapable of reading low density media like standard CDs, hence why the Sony BDP-S1 and Samsung BP1000 players can't play CDs. Upcoming players from Panasonic and Pioneer will allow for CD playback, but will also carry a higher price tag because they need an additional laser mechanism - essentially two drives in one that share the same disc tray.

Quote:

This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...
All we can do is speculate... My only concern is that studios will wait too long to support both formats and/or component makers will wait too long to ship dual-format players and both formats will fail to lure consumers, and will therefore die a premature death. This would leave consumers out in the cold and waiting for yet another HD format to arrive. IMO, that won't really happen... Sony has enough muscle to push BluRay forever and they will as they're determined to transition everything from movies to music to computer software over to the BD disc format within the next decade. But so both formats are off to a terrible start. The HD-DVD players are buggy as hell and the first crop don't support 1080p even though all HD-DVD releases are encoded at 1080p. The BluRay players keep getting delayed and the initial release titles are sucky at best (except T2). Samsung got their player out on time, but it's a complete turd with horrible picture quality and terrible performance. It makes a beautiful 1080p transfer of Terminator 2 that looked awesome on a demo BDP-S1 Sony player look like a bad SD DVD upconversion. I bought the Samsung player and had to return it. I mean, it sucks bad... It barely runs better than the sucky Toshiba HD-A1 player (which I also own), but unlike the Samsung, the Toshiba player was half the price and has excellent picture quality. I've seen prototype Sony S1 players on three occasions now (actually playing BD media, not the demo crap at the Sony stores), I know what the format can do and it's awesome. The Samsung player is giving people a false impression of the format thus far.

Daniel Hollister July 11th, 2006 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Daniel,

I imagine the one equalizer in this whole showdown will be the internet, i.e. Itunes and the like where you can already purchase movies online. I do imagine that most likely we will all watch things more and more from a none harddisk format. That's my two cents. Ofcourse, I'm not Bill Gates or Steven Speilburg.

While I am normally very geeky and would love to agree with you, I really don't think this is what is going to happen. A lot of smart people are predicting that digital distribution will beat them both, but the problem is that the average person doesn't even know what digital distribution is. The most people do right now is download extremely low-resolution television shows onto their iPods, and even then, we're talking about a very small percentage of the market. iTunes still has nothing on DVD sales.

So for digital distribution to really hit, we would need to do the following things:

1. Convince way, way more people to start downloading content.
2. Start offering much higher resolution videos.
3. Hope pepople have the bandwidth to support these resolutions.
4. Somehow integrate the TV with the computer. (This really has not happened yet, except maybe a handful of Mac Mini and Media Center users.)

Seems like a task that, to me, is going to take much longer than sorting out this little format war of ours. Granted, digital distribution is something to watch, but I don't think it's going to be fully complete by a year or so from now. Whereas I think within a year or so from now, we'll probably have a feel for how the DVD market is doing.

Kevin Shaw July 11th, 2006 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
Granted, digital distribution is something to watch, but I don't think it's going to be fully complete by a year or so from now. Whereas I think within a year or so from now, we'll probably have a feel for how the DVD market is doing.

One could say that digital distribution is already winning, in the form of on-demand services provided by cable & satellite TV companies. I recently upgraded my cable service and was surprised to find out that I can get many movies in HD format that way now, without having to pay anything up front for a fancy player. (Just rent an HD box from the cable company for $5/month.) Of course I'm limited to the movies being made available at any given moment, but for now that's a wider selection than can be found on either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

So until one of the two HD disc formats becomes ubiquitous and affordable, I'd say as a consumer that what I can get from my cable company is more appealing and convenient than either of the disc-based options. Having seen this, I'm now skeptical that either disc-based format will catch on widely in the near future.

Harrison Murchison July 11th, 2006 05:46 PM

HD Video On Demand isn't that hot IMO.

I can buy a HD DVD player or Blu-Ray and choose to rent my discs from Netflix or Blockbuster. Comcast charges $3.99-5.99 for movies in my area. Not a good deal compared to $17.99 all I can eat 3 out at a time Netflix HD.

Both optical formats will look better than the HD crap streaming over cable lines and limited to 19.4Mbps.

Jon Fairhurst July 11th, 2006 07:28 PM

19.4 Mbps is for terrestrial broadcast DTV. The bitrate over Digital Cable and Satellite is often much lower - and has often gone through another generation of decode/encode.

And the terrestrial stuff is often lower due to bit stripped off for data, extra sub-channels and other overhead.

For instance, the CBS station in my area sends out a stream of HD and an SD simulcast. Why do they waste the bits? All of the receivers I'm aware of can downsample from HD to SD.

And then there's the quality of the real-time encoders. Some are quite good. Others, like the ones NBC used for the 2004 Olympics, are terrible. Watching the closeups of the backstrokers, you could see that they were swimming in square water, rather than the round drops that we get in the rest of the world. (!)

No doubt, the quality of a good encode onto a Blu-ray disc played from a top player will far exceed the quality that you'll ever get from Cable.

It's hard to get live sports from Netflix though...

Kevin Shaw July 11th, 2006 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrison Murchison
I can buy a HD DVD player or Blu-Ray and choose to rent my discs from Netflix or Blockbuster. Comcast charges $3.99-5.99 for movies in my area. Not a good deal compared to $17.99 all I can eat 3 out at a time Netflix HD.

Yes, but for the average consumer paying a few extra bucks per month for movies on demand may seem like a better deal than paying hundreds of dollars for an HD player which could become obsolete when the 'format war' is over. Certainly for now there are many more people who can get HD movies on demand than have the HD players, so in that sense digital distribution is winning (temporarily).

Jeff Kilgroe July 11th, 2006 11:20 PM

One other thing to consider here is that Joe Average Consumer doesn't even know there is a format war. There's a good bet that the format war will be over or negated through universal players long before it becomes an issue to the general consumer. DVD players did not see mass acceptance and finally gain dominance over VCRs until they fell below the $150 price point and I don't see HD-DVD or BluRay players doing any differently. Seriously, if Sony can stave off the licensing for universal players long enough to introduce BluRay players under $200 and be able to do it before Toshiba can get HD-DVD players to that price point, then BluRay will win. Likewise, if Toshiba can clean up the bugs and get 1080p output going and get the price point down to $200 first, HD-DVD will probably win... And either one will have to be able to meet consumer demand while doing this too.

In this war, Sony is the lumbering giant and there's no secret about what they're going to do. The ball is truly in Toshiba's court and every time they've had a true scoring opportunity, they've dropped it.

OTOH, we're all going to get to know BluRay very well regardless of which format wins the HD video disc stanard war. BluRay is the superior format for lots of other types of media, including computer data formats and upcoming software/multimedia/data distribution. It's offering promises that HD-DVD can't even begin to touch and Sony is already shipping the first generation BD rewritable drives to system integrators and we can expect to see them in systems from Dell, Apple, HP and Sony's own Vaio lines within the next 30 to 60 days.

Kevin Shaw July 12th, 2006 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
One other thing to consider here is that Joe Average Consumer doesn't even know there is a format war.

I suppose that depends on how you define the average consumer, but this has been a very widely discussed topic which should have come to the attention of most potential early adopters. As far as pricing is concerned, that's clearly Sony's biggest problem here, and consumers who don't know any different would almost certainly pick a $499 player over a $999 one in most cases.

My gut instinct right now is that HD players and discs aren't going to catch on very quickly with most consumers. I wish it were otherwise, but pricing and the format war make it a product most people will probably avoid for now.

Martin Mayer July 12th, 2006 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
.......and Sony is already shipping the first generation BD rewritable drives to system integrators and we can expect to see them in systems from Dell, Apple, HP and Sony's own Vaio lines within the next 30 to 60 days.

Shown here.

Joe Carney July 12th, 2006 01:29 PM

Sony is hoping the PS3 sells well enough to support widespread Blue Ray adoption. Why buy an expensive player now when you can get that and more for 599.00 in a few months. We won't see much movement till next year on all of this anyway. I'll set back and let the early adopters have their fun.

Jeff Kilgroe July 12th, 2006 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Carney
Sony is hoping the PS3 sells well enough to support widespread Blue Ray adoption. Why buy an expensive player now when you can get that and more for 599.00 in a few months. We won't see much movement till next year on all of this anyway. I'll set back and let the early adopters have their fun.

One reason to buy the more expensive BDP-S1 is to get the discrete multichannel audio support as well as superior image/color processing. BD video playback on the PS3 is software based and will be lacking some of the quality/features. This is straight from the horse's mouth - Sony.

Joe Carney July 12th, 2006 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
One reason to buy the more expensive BDP-S1 is to get the discrete multichannel audio support as well as superior image/color processing. BD video playback on the PS3 is software based and will be lacking some of the quality/features. This is straight from the horse's mouth - Sony.

Interesting. Could you provide a link where Sony points that out? That could have serious implications on PS3 sales, since originally Sony made a big point about PS3 being the center of home entertainment and net based communications and video conferencing. Sounds like they did an about face, which doesn't surprise me.

Jeff Kilgroe July 13th, 2006 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Carney
Interesting. Could you provide a link where Sony points that out? That could have serious implications on PS3 sales, since originally Sony made a big point about PS3 being the center of home entertainment and net based communications and video conferencing. Sounds like they did an about face, which doesn't surprise me.

Well, I don't have any specific links... However, just based on what I've seen at Sony's own closed-door demos (been to three this year so far) and from what I know from the technical/developer side of things and what's been released on the net, we have the following...

Audio output from the PS3 will be via Optical and analag stereo pair. The HDMI module will allow for HDMI 8 channel audio as well, in the form of PCM and Dolby Digital.

Audio output from the BDP-S1 will have discrete linear PCM from the HDMI, standard PCM, DD and DTS. There are also individual audio connectors for each of the 8 audio channels in addition to optical, coaxial and stereo connectors.

The PS3's BluRay playback is software based... How that translates into what we get remains to be seen. Could be very good, could be second best or it could just plain suck. I've had Sony reps tell me that the playback quality is not as good as the BDP-S1 and the playback software has limited color processing abilities and is not as adept at some of the deinterlacing and motion functions. They also dodged the question about direct 24p output, but I think it's because they didn't know the answer. Some indications point to the PS3 not supporting 1080p or 720p output at 24fps, but rather only at 60Hz. So for those with newer 72 and 120 Hz displays with native 1080p24 input, the PS3 won't be able to accommodate and the TV will have to attempt to properly remove the duplicate frames to eliminate motion judder.

First and foremost, the PS3 is a game system. The fact that it plays BD Video is an added feature/bonus as are several of the other media-centric features. I've had two different individuals from Sony on two separate occasions compare the BD Video playback of the PS3 to DVD playback on the PS2 vs. their other stand-alone DVD players of the time. In other words, it's going to be the "cheap" solution. ...But I'm still willing to bet that PS3 BD Video output is still better than what you'd get from that new Samsung BDV-P1000 turd.

John Kang July 13th, 2006 10:24 AM

Toshiba to delay HD-DVD recorder
 
The release date for the RD-A1 will be pushed back from July 14 to the 27th.

The HD-DVD burner which is capable of recording 130 hours of HD broadcast content on it's one terabyte hardrive system will be the first available HD-DVD burner priced around 398,000 yen and expects to sell 10,000 units by the end of 2006.

When the burners will be released overseas in unclear.

As to Blue-ray burners, I've heard they've been available since 2003.

Jeff Kilgroe July 13th, 2006 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Kang
As to Blue-ray burners, I've heard they've been available since 2003.

Yeah, BluRay burners have been available since about then. Sony released prototype units about 2 years ago and a few have floated around on the grey market. I've seen a couple on eBay, I think one on eBay was discussed here in these forums about 6 months ago. These prototype units are mostly all crippled compared to the official units, most (if not all) are only single-layer capable and aren't 100% compatible with final release readers/writers. I'm not sure if there's any sort of buy-back or trade-in program either. Sony has ben selling single-layer BD recordable media within developer channels since the first prototype drives shipped out. The official BD recorder drives are now shipping to OEMs and integrators and several are taking orders for drives and systems including them. Sony's BluRay equipped VAIO systems are available to order, but I don't think they have actually started shipping yet. Rumors indicate that Apple will be including BD-RE drives in their next line of MacBook Pro systems with the Merom Core2Duo CPUs and their upcoming Intel-based workstations will have BluRay as well. Dell has announced that they will be shipping BluRay drives in their systems as soon as they are available, which should be literally any day now.

John Kang July 13th, 2006 10:21 PM

Jeff,

Actually, Fry's was selling Sony Vaio desktops with bluray burners.

I posted a message on a different thread here.


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